September is Fall Prevention Month
September is fall prevention month and, as such, we take a long hard look at what we as foot and ankle physicians can do to prevent these debilitating events. Falls are the number one cause of injury in the older American population. They can cause significant injuries from ankle sprains and fractures to even death. According to the National Council on Aging, there is an older adult evaluated for fall-related injuries in an emergency department every 11 seconds. This translates to roughly 1 out of 4 Americans over 65 years old suffering a fall each year.
The same group has developed six steps to take for fall prevention. These include:
- A good balance and exercise program
- Talking to a health care provider for a risk assessment
- Regularly review your medications with your doctor
- Annual checkups for vision and hearing, with new assistive devices as needed
- Keeping your home safe with minimal obstacles and good lighting
- Talking to your family members
With these steps, falls of all causes can be minimized. At Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle, we can evaluate your medications and discuss possible risk factors you may have for falls. Foot and ankle mobility can be a contributor to incidents around the house. Patients with osteoarthritis have 30% more falls and a 20% increase in fractures when they do fall. Similar statistics exist for people with other systemic conditions like diabetes and obesity. Treating these conditions correctly, and usually conservatively, can help minimize fall risk as well.
If you are one of the millions of older Americans at risk of having a fall, don’t hesitate to call either our Avon or Frisco office for an appointment and see how we can try and prevent these injuries.